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This is an extract from the address delivered by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the sod-turning event for the Manenberg infill housing project which took place earlier today, 20 July 2016, at The Downs development in Manenberg. It will house 587 families. Read more below:

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

We are here together to celebrate a milestone today.

We are delivering on a promise we made in our Integrated Development Plan in 2011 when we emphasised our committed to making the Manenberg infill housing project a reality.

We immediately identified Manenberg as an area in desperate need of urban upgrading and in need of regeneration.

We were led by our commitment to redress.We were guided by a pledge to do all we can within our mandate to overcome the many generations of spatial and economic exclusion suffered by the people who were forced to make Manenberg their home.

Some of our interventions have included the more than R200 million spent on the upgrade of the Council’s Community Residential Units in the area. An extra R40 million was spent to pay for additional costs incurred due to the delays caused by gangsterism and crime.

We spent R5,5 million on a synthetic pitch in order to bring a world-class sports facility to encourage the budding sports stars from Manenberg.

We have also begun the work on the Manenberg Youth Lifestyle Campus which we announced a year ago, together with community leaders.

The campus forms part of a R29 million investment in the youth of Manenberg over the next three years.

We believe that if the youth are given opportunities, they will not be tempted by the lure of gangterism and drugs which has torn this community apart for too long.

We have completed draft designs of the upgrades suggested for the parks and sports facilities and these will be brought to the community for public participation in August 2016.

We have already installed floodlights for the Manenberg sports field and this will be followed by a R15 million upgrade of parks and R14 million on sports facilities.

Designs must be finalised by November 2016 so that contractors can be on site in March 2017.

We have also budgeted R8,2 million for social crime prevention and safety projects in Manenberg.

This includes outreach initiatives for youth at risk and a crime trends analysis that will be undertaken to assist the efforts of law enforcement.

We are actively busy transforming Manenberg into the town we all know it can become.

And so today, we are here to participate in a sod-turning event for the Manenberg infill housing project which will provide homes to 587 families over the next three years of construction.

The City of Cape Town will spend R123 million on this development which includes the installation of the bulk infrastructure. Housing opportunities will be provided for residents from Manenberg, Surrey Estate, Tambo Square, Sherwood Park and Gugulethu.

I have also been told that the Project Steering Committee is an all women team.

I am so proud of each of you and I want to thank you for all the hard work that you have put in thus far.

Our partnership with you is key to the success of this development.

As the government, our job is to balance doing what we can to right the wrongs of the past, while also managing the current and future growth of our city.

One of the biggest tasks we have been confronted with during the term of this administration is planning to manage the growth we experience on a yearly basis in order for everyone to be accommodated in our inclusive city.

Based on the 10-year average annual growth between 2001 and 2011, the total Cape Town population is expected to grow by a further one million residents by 2021 and by another one million by 2030. This will bring the total Cape Town population to an estimated 5,8 million people.

We have also learnt that we have to think innovatively about how we can maximise the number of housing opportunities that we can provide without affecting the quality of delivery.

This development we are celebrating today is classified as high density housing.

We have, therefore, used design to increase the number of houses that can be built and maximising the number of opportunities available on each parcel of land.

This means more families will be laying down roots in a home that they can finally call their own.

People from Manenberg, Surrey Estate, Tambo Square, Sherwood Park and Gugulethu who have patiently been waiting on the City’s Housing Database for many years will finally become homeowners.

It means that almost 600 families will have an address to a place which physically represents their sense of belonging in our inclusive city.

Today sends out a message that we are committed to building Manenberg up, even when so many are intent on breaking it down.

When construction starts here today, we will not just be building houses, but we will be building up this community.

I want to wish everyone well as they embark on a new chapter, marked by freedom, fairness and opportunity.

I thank you.

God bless.

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